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I Wish I Didn't Remember This

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I remember when I was around five years old, my mother and I had gone either to her friend's house or my grandmother's house, either way, it doesn't matter. What does matter is that while driving home, we hit a screw or shard of glass in the road and had to pull into a gas station. Now this was a very shady area of town, one where you'd expect to see druggies and prostitutes, and will most of the time.

We had chosen to pull into this particular gas station, because there was a mechanic shop next door, but upon further inspection, we noticed it was closed, but it was too late now; we weren't going anywhere with this flat tire. So my mother decided she would ask the lady in the gas station if she could use the phone to call my dad, who had the supplies needed to replace the tire.

However before she could go to the gas station, a man who looked to be in his mid-forties approached us and asked if we could hitch him a ride to his house. We explained our situation and the man nodded, but a moment later asked if he could get a ride. Once again, my mother explained that we couldn't give him a ride. I knew that there was something wrong with this man to begin with, but this idea was confirmed when his voice got aggressive. He demanded that we give him a ride to his house and that give him a ride now. He started claiming that we were lying about our flat tire just so we wouldn't have to give him a ride.

My mother, not wanting to leave me with this man, gestured for me to follow her to the gas station. When she got to the door, she found it was locked, but there was a lady inside the station still. She was probably there to watch over the place as a night-guard of sorts. My mother knocked on the glass door, and the woman looked up and shook her head. She wasn't going to let us come inside. My mother asked if she could use the phone, but the woman just shook her head, still suspicious of us.

At around this time, a large man—clearly he wasn't from around here—approached us and asked what we were doing. We told him that our car had a flat tire and we were trying to use the phone, but the woman wouldn't let us in. The man shook his head and approached the door. He beat on the glass so hard, I thought it was going to break, "Hey! You better let this woman in and use that phone. C'mon, I'll make sure she doesn't do anything." With that, the lady stood up and opened the door.

My mother called my dad and he said he was on his way to get us; not wanting to return to where that creepy man was across the parking lot, we stayed inside the gas station. The man who let us in stood just outside the door. I couldn't help but watch the creepy man, though. He sat there patiently next to our car, as if waiting for us to come outside. My eye caught a glimpse of something silver in his pocket.

We must have sat in that gas station for at least twenty minutes before my father pulled up. The man across the parking lot quickly stood up and walked away from the station, and now that I'm older, I realize that he was walking the opposite direction of where he wanted us to take him.

My mother went to the lady behind the counter and asked if she could make change for a ten, because she wanted to give some money to that man outside for letting us use the phone. The lady looked confused, "Honey, are you high on something? I let you in to use the phone, but there's no man at that door, nor was there any man at all. The closest thing is your boy sittin' right there." My mother stepped outside, and there was no sign of the man anywhere. No marks on the glass where his hand had been; nothing. The only thing we could find, was a small white feather laying on the ground.

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